144 Barbados Romantic Cruise Reviews

This one fit a particular time frame .We only had the first leg of 11 days . Had never had a chance to take a Seabourn cruise before . Very happy .They couldn't do enough for us .Came up with an extension cord for the C Pap machine . ... Read More
This one fit a particular time frame .We only had the first leg of 11 days . Had never had a chance to take a Seabourn cruise before . Very happy .They couldn't do enough for us .Came up with an extension cord for the C Pap machine . Stocked fridge and bar had a full liter of good vodka .Svedka , I think . Mixers, beer , champagne . Room stewardess was always ready to go . Dinning room had some slow arrivals of food at times . But all the food was excellent .They could cook , fish , steaks , pasta . The Colonnade buffet on the back deck was always good .Pool bars and dining line was a great choice in the afternoon for a late lunch .Open to 3:30 . Used room service for breakfast 4 different mornings . Arrived in 20 to 25 minutes and hot .Transfers booked through Seabourn worked fine , even with a flight delay .They were there to meet us . We got our luggage frisked in Lisbon on disembarkation .The Seabourn Rep was on the spot to assure us we would get a cab to the airport when we missed the main bus with everybody else . Even sent a very sweet Portuguese woman ( cute as a button ) with us to make sure we knew where we were going inside the airport . Actually went in with us . Bar people , deck crew , waiters were all on top of it at all times .Entertainment was very good of what we saw . Did a special afternoon opera segment on the deck with the main show vocalists one afternoon . Pouring Patron Margaritas at the pool .l .All you can eat , drink and no tipping or bar bill at the end . But I did leave a small thank you for the housekeeping girl and a bartender .Not expected though .A great time . The best weather the crew had ever seen on this crossing . Just lucky . Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very ... Read More
We"d never done a cruise before and wanted to do something special for our silver wedding anniversary so we decided to book a cruise around the Caribbean. We also booked to renew our wedding vows and we'd just like to say a very big THANK YOU to Amanda Hudson the social host and our captain Peter Harris for sorting everything out so that we could do it on our wedding anniversary. We had a lovely day thanks again to Amanda Hudson for everything that you did to it happen it's very much appreciated. The ship is lovely all staff very friendly and work very hard food lovely as well will definitely be coming back. All the staff are really friendly and work hard food was excellent we had an invite to join the captain at his table as well which was lovely couldn't of asked for a better 25th wedding anniversary cruise we've got lots of wonderful memories and photos Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, ... Read More
Everything was perfect, You walk off the plane and onto a coach where you’re taken straight to the ship where our bags were waiting for us at our cabin. On return you see the immigration officers onboard, the queues move very fast, no standing still. Then we were taken from the ship to the airport and our cases were sent to the plane ahead of us so we didn’t have to carry them around with us, they will also look after your hand luggage for you from when you leave your cabin until you depart the ship, they give you clean towels and an option to use a cabin to freshen up before your flight. Completely hassle free. Cabin was very comfortable and quiet, spotlessly cleaned twice daily and the cabin stewards were so friendly and kind. Fantastic staff, so attentive, friendly and really make you feel valued. Delicious food with plenty of options. The restaurants were very nice and in the buffet you have tons of options, you have fresh food cooked to order including omelettes and create your own stir fries, pastas and pizzas where you can choose exactly what ingredients they put in your meal. The fresh salad bars were so good too with freshly made potato salads, coleslaws and bean salads to name but a few. They had branston like pickle, piccalilli, chutneys and all the usual condiments including HP sauce, Branded drinks and a great choice of cocktails. Even without the premium drinks upgrade. Twinings breakfast and Yorkshire tea and many other kinds of herbal teas, delicious fresh sweet pure orange juice. The snack bar by the pool had freshly prepared salads (Caesar, Greek, Asian, curried chicken, avocado, salmon and more) sandwiches, wraps and burgers, hotdogs, fries etc to grab and go. Excellent entertainment with so many different options to choose from each day and night, something to do whatever your mood. The Collective were absolutely fantastic and got everyone rocking! Plenty of fun, lively areas with great music and entertainment and also calmer areas if you want some peace and quiet to just chill out and enjoy the moment. Didn’t feel at all overcrowded, even at the busiest times there was always somewhere to sit in the shade or in the sun. You can dress to impress if you like which meant I got the chance to wear some evening dresses but if you don’t feel like dressing up you don’t have to. You’re treated beautifully whatever you wear. Unlike other holidays I’ve been on (where drunken idiots have spoiled it for everyone else with their bad behaviour and they’ve been allowed to remain in the hotel and carry on their behaviour for the whole holiday) if someone gets out of hand they are promptly removed from the ship, they have zero tolerance of violent or abusive behaviour, Brilliant! Like staying in a 5 star hotel where the view changes daily. I can’t see how they can improve this ship and it’s staff. We don’t know how they manage it but even on a ship with so many other people on board you are made to feel special, the staff remember you and treat you very well. We will definitely be booking with TUI / Marella again. Everything really was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their ... Read More
Previously cruised on the Royal Clipper (twice) and Norwegian Star (not the best experience), so we have been on small and larger vessels. Tui package holidays have always been consistent for quality, so it was interesting to try their cruise option. Flights - very good, the system of leaving luggage at Manchester airport and not having to handle it again until it arrived at the cabin worked extremely well. The Dreamliner is an excellent aircraft, in our opinion better than Airbus offerings. Apart from some slow service on the plane (don't think there were enough cabin crew) and not much variety in inflight entertainment all went well. Very comfortable flights both ways. The ship - excellent all round. Large balcony cabin has plenty of storage and well laid out. Didn't find the small number of power points too much of an inconvenience, we always seemed to keep our smart phones and iPad charged. No other reviewers have mentioned a super innovation on this ship - the Navigate app. for smart phone or tablet. Much better than reams of paper daily news letters cluttering the cabin. Reception service was excellent, always attended to quickly and with a smile. Not many children on this cruise, almost adults only. No issues with food and drink on board, mainly used Lattitude 53 for breakfast and dinner and the Market Place for lunch. Tried Vista one night, the only time we had to wait for a table, but no real inconvenience, the food was worth the wait - the Parpadelli Carbonare was superb! Visited Surf and Turf once, again a real treat, the fillet steak and lobster combination was to die for, well worth the extra. Generally the food was far superior to Norwegian and on a par with Royal Clipper ( a totally diffent cruise experience). Didn't bother with the Premium upgrade, didn't spend anywhere near the £100 it would have costs, the standard offerings were fine. Service was always quick and efficient, we had no problems on this cruise. Entertainment was good, with enough variety for us. No problems with sunbeds as we don't like being too near the pools (too noisy). Always found a quiet spot, the Veranda wasn't all that busy and we could retreat to the cabin and the large balcony if we wanted. Just a mention for Alan and Linda - you've stirred my interest in ballroom dancing and am looking to take some lessons ashore, many thanks. Shore excursions - only tried two. St. Maarten got off to a bad start, over 30 minutes late starting and the tour didn't show off the island in its best light. We walked into the town in the afternoon and we saw a much better side. The Tortola land and sea exclusion was in total contrast, gave us a real taster for the BVI. Otherwise we did our own thing at the other ports (have been to St.Kitts, Antigua and Bequia on previous holidays, so knew our way around). All in all an excellent holiday, Marella must be doing something right as we are about to book another cruise on the Explorer 2 next March to see some other islands we haven't yet visited. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We picked P & O for the itinerary, visiting so many islands including Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, Aruba all via Barbados. Firstly so glad we booked a Premium flight from Newcastle, great service and good food and drinks. ... Read More
We picked P & O for the itinerary, visiting so many islands including Antigua, St Kitts, St Maarten, Aruba all via Barbados. Firstly so glad we booked a Premium flight from Newcastle, great service and good food and drinks. Embarkation in Barbados was swift. We were met on the tarmac by mini buses and we were on the ship in 50 minutes! Our cases were delivered at about 9pm. So about 4 hours later but we had a meal and wandered around the ship so it was not a problem. Brittania was a beautiful ship, took us a day or two to get used to the ares but a bit of effort and patience ( with lifts especially) was all that was needed. Our balcony cabin E610 was lovely. Balcony was big enough to sit out and watch other ships sail away and to sun bathe. Fabulous bed so very comfortable and big! Great to have tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin and a fridge with cold drinks payable locally. Our steward took good care of us. We had Freedom dining and always got a nice table for two around 6.50pm in either restaurants. The food was absolutely gorgeous, I really don’t know who would rate it down! Choice was always good and service very quick. The evening entertainment was enough for us, resident band Pulse were ok, shows were of a fair standard, musicals and a well known illusionist act. But best by far was La Voix in the Limelight club. Hilarious. Around the ship on sea days was busy as was to be expected but we always got beds round the pool, although the music was very repetitive and sometimes loud. But cooling off in the pools was fab. The entertainment crew put on an aqua robics class which looked exhausting but fun. We had booked to swim with stingray in Antigua and it was spectacular! A must for nature lovers. Speedboat our to a landing bay and then a good hour snorkelling with them. Very cool! We were able to hold them too. Best beach was Barbados and St Maarten. Both by taxi and both worth the trip. In St Lucia we did the Rainforest trip which was great and it did rain! Didn’t spoil the wonderful views or spotting the hummingbird! Aruba was the nicest port we thought and had a lovely morning walking round the town. We celebrated Brittania’s 4th birthday with a great party on Lido Deck it was great fun, all of us singing and waving our Union Jacks!! The Captain made a nice speech and cut a big cake. It was very easy to leave the ship at every port, some town centres were further than others but walkable. Taxis galore and very reliable. We had a lady drive us to a beach in a Mercedes 4 x 4, very elegant!! Disembarkation was easier for us as we booked a day room, we were leaving at 2.55pm and had the room till 3pm so we were able to shower and change comfortably. But overall a bit of hanging around, to be expected, when 5 flights leaving. Barbados airport easy and a fab flight home to a freezing morning in Newcastle! we would highly recommend this cruise, go and chill out, have fun and eat plenty! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
If you like being herded on huge ships, this is not for you. If you enjoy dodging electric carts on board, this is not for you. If you want to be in a crowded theatre, this is not for you. If you like to pay extra to get the best dining ... Read More
If you like being herded on huge ships, this is not for you. If you enjoy dodging electric carts on board, this is not for you. If you want to be in a crowded theatre, this is not for you. If you like to pay extra to get the best dining selections, this is not for you. If you take youthful children and have someone entertain them, this is not for you. If you need to stop a large, overcrowded ports with multiple trinket store, this is not for you. If you’re a couch potato, this is not for you. If you need to be hoisted by an elevator, this is not for you. However, there are a multitude of reason to consider the Star Clippers and, especially, the Royal Clipper. First, it’s very comfortable to be on a ship where the staff and most passengers know your name. It’s nice to be served by professionally educated and trained personnel. It’s nice to be entertained by wonderful local musicians. It’s exciting to see 5,400 sq.ft of sails be unfurled and set. It’s relaxing to feel the ocean breeze and the sea spray. It’s fun to visit small ports and have access to beautiful beaches. It’s amazing to look up at any of the five masts that are neatly 180 ft. high and be able to climb to a crow’s nest 75 ft. above the deck. It’s nice to be casually dressed every evening. It’s nice to have a wide selection of delicious choice at every meal. It’s nice to pay $3.50 for beer and wine and under $6.00 for mixed drinks. It’s nice to have so many water sports available from a ramp that is lowered from the stern. It’s nice to know that more than half of the passengers have been aboard the Royal Clipper previously. It’s nice from the beautiful maroon mahogany paneling to the special dinnerware. The niceties go on and on. Yes, we will be back for many more adventures on The Royal Clipper. I have taken 30 other cruises, most on the most luxurious, and have visited 93 countries. I have found the niche that I enjoy most. Ahoy, mate! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We like the cruise it was small ship i was shock about the jogging track it didn't look like the picture . Emergency drill was get but when the crew did there they barge in room 422 that where they keep the crew life jacket . . They ... Read More
We like the cruise it was small ship i was shock about the jogging track it didn't look like the picture . Emergency drill was get but when the crew did there they barge in room 422 that where they keep the crew life jacket . . They block with rope between 429-431 & 433-435 other than that it was fine so you step over to get to the main dinner restaurant and elevator . For people confusion there was no 430 or 434 . The newspaper was a day behind unfortunately the sad part it was on the tv & in your itinerary . Free movie, free tv show episode , menu , live tv with 20 channel. The fitness centre was great so there were 2 separate and new machine call scale runner for kid to understand it like the the dog walker treadmill in Jetson . There no elevator to deck 9 . You can tour other sliver sea ship and eat for a day but be back on your original boat by 6pm. Not lot of kids around 6 with 2 babies what hear about the sliver spirt there was about 6-8 on that boat. Show room and card room was master so was the library and panorama lounge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & ... Read More
This was our first cruise for our silver wedding anniversary & certainly won’t be our last. After arriving in Barbados we were put on a coach straight to the ship, embarkation was fantastic. We were greeted by a steel band & given rum punches, got our room cards, photos taken & all done & dusted in minutes. Our cases arrived outside our cabin about an hour later. Entertainment was fantastic, we particularly enjoyed the shows in the theatre, they are young but work their socks off to give fantastic performances which last approx 45 minutes & drinks are served to you throughout. The entertainment around the ship & in the Squid & Anchor by the bands The Beats & The Collectables were fantastic also as were the games in the Squid & Anchor, really good fun if you want to partake or just watch. A must is the silent disco which was on twice a week, again you can partake or just watch. The entertainment is run by cruise director Cameron & he & all involved really do a good job to cater for everyone’s taste. There is always something going on somewhere if something in particular is not to your taste. There is a cinema & outdoor cinema, casino, library, gym, coffee port, scoops ice cream, snack shack, Champneys Spa & Salon, Broadway shops, 2 swimming pools, 3 jacuzzis, running track, mini golf, 10 restaurants to name a few so there is something for everyone. Sea days are a nightmare to get a sun bed as people put their towels down early, come at 8am & you’ve no chance. Staff do put tickets on them if they are empty for 45 mins but we saw loads of ‘reserved beds’ empty for longer, we never saw any towels being removed for people wanting a sun bed. We did a few tours with Tui which were amazing, one of these tours started an late so inevitably we arrived back late for the ship which thankfully had to wait for us because it was a Tui excursion. We did the trikes in Aruba (independently booked from home) submarine tour, catamaran & Pitons, Champagne & lobster catamaran & a few more independent ones off shore. All trips were fantastic, all the locals were extremely friendly towards us & we never felt intimidated anywhere. We picked up some WiFi with the price of a drink in certain bars. We were lucky enough to have our wedding renewal on our anniversary with thanks to Amanda the social hostess. This was something we couldn’t book back home at our Tui shop or the many phone calls by my husband. We were fortunate enough to get hold of Amanda’s e-mail & arranged it the week before we went, it was absolutely amazing & they couldn’t do enough for us. Captain Peter performed the ceremony on the bridge & it was wonderful, we had the silver package for £200 & it was perfect. We also purchased all the photos taken which was set to music & have it on a usb stick, also included was 16 photos which are professional photos taken by the lovely photographer team. All the staff on board are extremely polite & friendly & work such long hours to ensure we have the best time possible, they have a few hours off here & there but not days off. In order to receive a full day off they have to be mentioned in reviews so it’s very sad & darn right rude when you see people clicking fingers at them for service or moaning because they have to wait a short time for a table in one of the restaurants. Unfortunately I can’t remember all their names who made our holiday but a shout out goes to Gladys, housekeeping on deck 9, Roman who refilled our drinks on the deck pool, Vicky & Elizabeth entertainment staff, Captain Peter & Cameron for their daily announcements & Amanda social hostess for making it possible for us to renew our wedding vows. A few necessities to take with you, towel pegs or bands as it gets very windy in the Caribbean ( if your towel blows off or you lose it you will be charged £10 per towel). As I’ve said it gets quite windy & for us girls it is very unkind to our hair. 5 mins after drying my hair it went frizzy & after a few days very dry, my heat protection spray wasn’t strong enough for the Caribbean wind so I purchased Ghd protection spray from the Broadway shops which cost $13 but so worth it, this spray is expensive but I would not be without it for future cruises. I never felt the need to wrap up in the evening so didn’t wear the wrap I brought. Definitely bring looser fitting clothes for your second week as despite my good intentions not to over indulge it’s very hard as the food is delicious & plentiful. We also never used the euros as all islands accept usd, we used ours to pay off part of our bill on leaving. On the day of disembarkment you have to leave your cabin by 8am. You can pay £35 for a late room check out subject to availability & only till 1.30 or you can pay £14.95 pp for a day pass in Champneys Spa. We did this & it was amazing, we got our travel luggage in the lockers, provided with robes, towels, refreshments, showers & you can still use the ships facilities. For any disabled people wanting to cruise there were plenty of guests in wheelchairs & mobility scooters, incidentally the ship has plenty of lifts. We had an absolutely amazing time aboard the Explorer & are already looking for our next cruise - yep we’ve got the cruise bug. All the negative comments we read about before embarking on our first cruise in our eyes are unfounded but that is just our opinion, everyone has different expectations, experiences & are entitled to their own opinions. A holiday is what you make it & my husband & I have made many memories visiting 12 islands on one holiday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs ... Read More
Did not know what to expect on this our first cruise as we had read so many varied reviews, but we could not fault our cruise experience, we booked a large balcony cabin and it was perfect, we had our own sun lounger, table with 2 chairs and a hammock! It was ideal to get away from the hustle and bustle of the pool deck areas and really chill out. Okay the Marella explorer is not brand new and not as huge as some of the other cruise ships but for us it as just right. The main self service dinning room served a good range of hot and cold dishes which changed daily, and if you wanted a full English breakfast you'd have to go a long way to beat it, we also tried out the specialty restaurants, some you had to pay a cover charge for, but well worth it, and the all inclusive drinks package was the best we ever had, all the top and well known beers and spirits.We can't praise all the staff on-board enough, from the cleaners to the ships Captain, nothing was too much. Plenty of hand sanitisers' everywhere, entertainment and activities were suited to all age groups and were well organised, The only thing I would do differently next time would be to book shore excursions on-board the ship, yes they are more expensive than doing it yourself but it saves the hassle of being pestered by the hoards as you walk out of the port area into local towns, overall we had a fantastic first cruise experience and certainly do it all over again, especially on the Marella Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We stayed 3 nights at the Radisson Aquatica in Bridgetown before we boarded the Royal Clipper. This was a good way to acclimatized to the lovely warn weather as we have had a long cold winter in southern Ontario. The hotel was old and in ... Read More
We stayed 3 nights at the Radisson Aquatica in Bridgetown before we boarded the Royal Clipper. This was a good way to acclimatized to the lovely warn weather as we have had a long cold winter in southern Ontario. The hotel was old and in need of some updates but the staff was wonderful. On Mar 2nd we boarded the Royal Clipper and were amazed by the efficient and quick check in procedure. we took a walk around the vessel and discovered that the ship is in pristine condition, extensive use of brass and teak really gives it the old sailing vessel aura. We found even the deckhands polite and friendly. The best part is that the ship actually sails without engine for most of the voyage. The raising of the sails is a spectacle not to be missed. It never got old. The cabins were roomy and spotless. Our cabin steward Diana was discreet, yet attentive and the room was always tidy. The food was at a five star hotel level. There was always a good choice of entrees for dinner and the breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent. The service on board was second to none. The servers in the elegant dining room were also first class. Our server Marko was always friendly and very efficient. The bar staff was equally as good and Leandre the Tropical Bar tender always had a ready smile and knew my name after the first day. (Could be a bad sign??). The shore excursions were primarily by the ships tender. This ship had a very nice pair of tenders with open sides to let the ocean breeze in, not like the enclosed life boats on other vessels. That was a nice addition. There were never large lines and crowds to deal with as there wee only 200 passengers on the ship. The only criticism was a major mix up with pre ordered wine. It took the head bartender 3 days to sort that out. Our problem did not seem to be a priority to him. Despite that glitch I would not only go again but highly recommend this ship to anyone who appreciates sailing vessels. This one is the ultimate. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this ship as we are avid sailors, and if you want to sail in a tall ship, this is probably the best. However, this comes with some compromises that have to be accepted. The ship is small, at 4400 gross tonnes. It is a sailing ... Read More
We chose this ship as we are avid sailors, and if you want to sail in a tall ship, this is probably the best. However, this comes with some compromises that have to be accepted. The ship is small, at 4400 gross tonnes. It is a sailing ship so will heel gently to the wind and have a genteel motion. There are no elevators, no climbing walls, no casino, One restaurant and no constant tannoy announcements. The cabins are small (it's a tall ship). What you do get is some special sailing on a beautiful ship with traditional mahogany and brass interiors, all scrupulously clean and maintained. A library and piano bar, a high crew to passenger ratio, an open bridge policy, good food and helpful crew. There are only c200 guests and 105 crew. The bar staff will know you by name in the first day. The ship uses the sails for about 60% of the time, using the engine only to make the eta at next port or when the wind is in the wrong direction. It was never noticeable in our cabin which was ver quiet. The prices for extras such as wine and cocktails, laundry etc are not outrageous. Entertainment is very much passenger led, costume evenings, quizzes and the like. It all hails from a previous age and is very stress free and relaxing. This is not a high octane thrill seekers trip, if you want that then you're on the wrong ship. It's not suitable for people with reduced mobility as there are no lifts and access doors have large cills and are very heavy. There would not be much for young children to do. The paid shore excursions are uniformly poor. We took three and they were all very bad with late pick ups, dirty venues and it was obvious nobody from the company has tested them for years. We loved it. Some passengers complained about the ships motion, small cabins and lack of elevators? Did they read the brochure? Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This cruise was good because of the itinerary of stopping at Caribbean islands everyday and had a good mix of Europeans and some Americans on board; not just single groups of British like on P&O or loud Americans as on Carnival. The ... Read More
This cruise was good because of the itinerary of stopping at Caribbean islands everyday and had a good mix of Europeans and some Americans on board; not just single groups of British like on P&O or loud Americans as on Carnival. The ship is tastefully finished and kept super clean. The standard of food in the buffet was excellent and well laid out and overall the staff on the ship were courteous and provided very good service. In my opinion there seemed to be a lack of overall activities on the ship as compared to a P&O ship but I would think this is due to the multiple languages on board - English, French, Italian, German, etc - for example it would be difficult to have a comedy act and provide it in 5 languages; so overall understandable why less activities but there are plenty of bars with music to venture into. There was a good choice of shore excursions which I think were much the same price range as provided on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My partner and booked this cruise as we felt like we needed a winter getaway. We also had a fantastic time on a January cruise in 2017 and wanted to explore more of the world using this excellent mode of transport. We are both in our mid ... Read More
My partner and booked this cruise as we felt like we needed a winter getaway. We also had a fantastic time on a January cruise in 2017 and wanted to explore more of the world using this excellent mode of transport. We are both in our mid 20’s and really enjoy hiking, exploring and just generally being active. The aim was to come back feeling relaxed but also like we gained new knowledge and experience. This would be our third cruise and first time with P&O. Embarkation and disembarkation I cannot fault, it is seamless from start to finish. We were on a charter flight and on arrival at Barbados we were whisked straight off the plane to the ship. We had no queue to check in and get our cruise cards created. On departure day everything is digitally signposted to make sure you know where you need to be and at what time. Our cases were taken the night before and immigration came onto the ship to handle our paperwork the day before we left. We were given our flight tickets around 4 days before departure along with our luggage labels and explanation of the process. The dedicated lane at the airport for cruise passengers was also super speedy, definitely the best we have encountered. Exercise & Leisure: There is a well equipped gym and running track on the upper deck, we used these everyday and found there was enough equipment for everyone without having to wait around (obviously there are peak times e.g. around 9am). There are free sessions such as the ‘morning stretch’ that you can sign up to along with classes such as spinning which come at a small fee. There is also a basketball court and golf area (no mini golf though which would be an excellent addition). Beside the gym is also the cookery school kitchen which looks fantastic, we did not get to experience this but there was always a variety of different classes advertised for a fee. The spa we did not use, on our first day at sea we went to have a look around at the thermal suite which appeared quite small plus it felt like a really hard selling approach to get us to purchase day passes. We did not receive our requested call back for availability and so we did not visit. There is also the ‘retreat’ open air spa terrace available for booking in conjunction with the thermal suite. Entertainment & Activities: Everyday you will find a full program of things you can get involved in within the cruise personaliser which is dropped off outside your cabin each night along with port information. We played bingo in Brodie’s bar purchasing a pack for £15 which included 5 games and a bonus 3 tickets for one game. We also really enjoyed the aqua fit classes which took place in the lido pool which was free. Throughout the day there are quizzes, talks from aviation experts, reflexology sessions, you can book your next cruise or just sunbathe out on deck. You will also find usually 2 different films showing throughout the day in the studio, there’s a great selection for all. We only attended one show in the theatre which was called ‘astonishing’, I won’t spoil it for those that haven’t seen it but we found it entertaining given its interactive nature. Shopping: Within the main atrium midship you will find a selection of stores selling jewellery, clothing and alcohol. They did a number of flash sales on products but we still found everything very pricey, however they do come in handy when you have an emergency such as not packing your tie (will set you back £12). Just opposite reception you will find another store selling biscuits, suncream, merchandise, playing cards (£3) and amongst other things the washing tabs you need for the washing machines (£1 each). Food and drink: I cannot tell you how many bars there are on this ship, they are everywhere! You can also get costa coffee at select places also. The market cafe on deck 5 also sells wonderful looking cakes and bakes designed by Eric Lanlard and also crepes and ice cream. We were allocated to second sitting dining (8:30pm) in the Oriental restaurant on a table for 2. I don’t eat food containing dairy and informed our travel agent when booking and I was looked after fantastically. I ordered my food the day before getting a sneak peak of the menu and everything was cooked for me with the same choice as everyone else minus the dairy. Our waiters were phenomenal and they really added to our meal times. We had 4 formal nights and the dress code is strict so don’t forget your tie or suit jacket! The horizon buffet is also always well stocked; if you need help with a dietary requirement you can ask the staff in the yellow ‘how can I help’ aprons. You have everything available at breakfast including cooked breakfast, fruit, pastries, pancakes, cereal, yoghurt, juice. Lunch is always something different but you can always have salad, fish and cold meats, soup along with a wide selection of hot dishes. Afternoon tea is served in here from 3pm and also in the oriental restaurant from 4-4:45pm. There are always numerous cakes, sandwiches, pies, scones, crumpets and unlimited tea. Outside either side of the lido pool you will find a grab and go section for quick sandwiches, fruit, salad etc at lunch and also pizza, burgers, hot dogs and chips served until around 6pm. There is also Jude’s ice cream and costa coffee here too. We also chose to pay extra to dine in Eric Lanlards restaurant ‘The Epicurean’ for afternoon tea. It was fantastic with a wonderful selection of food and experimental desserts along with a large choice of tea (including chocolate tea). The decor is also very light and airy, this is a must for any foodies and it was extremely reasonable price wise. You can also dine at other restaurants such as Sindhu and the Limelight Club (evenings entertainment by a known performer) for a fee. Ports & Excursions: We had a fantastic itinerary and loved each of the ports we visited. Our favourites were Grenada, Dominica & St Lucia. We booked the eco trek for Grenada which led us through a plantation, learning about all of the spices, plants and fruits the island holds. We then ended up at a waterfall in which you can take a refreshing dip. Our tour guide was fantastic however if you struggle walking up pretty steep hills on a continuous incline then this may not be for you as the way back is pretty much all uphill. We also had a to cross a river barefoot but this was all part of the fun! In Dominica we booked the hot springs trip. We swam through a gorge which was also one of the film areas for Pirates of the Caribbean, then onto the Bongo Baths which were wonderful. Naturally heated pools of water at different temperatures in a tranquil setting. You do have to take a dip in the cold before leaving to get your pores closed up (leaving open leaves you vulnerable). St Lucia we planned ourselves and already researched that we wanted to go pigeon island. I’m the port are there are always numerous people asking if you need a taxi, we paid $40 return for two with a pick up later in the afternoon. We had a fantastic time climbing up hills, taking in the scenery and relaxing on the beach; you must also visit Jambe de Bois for food and cocktails, it is fantastic! I would say don’t be afraid to do some pre trip research as shore excursions can be expensive. In Antigua we booked kayaking and snorkelling. Our guides/instructors were really superb and we had an awesome day, pretty arm intensive at the start but all worth it! We saw lots of beautiful sea creatures and enjoyed a few cups of rum punch in the sunshine. I would personally substitute Çuracao with Trinidad & Tobago as this port was the least active for us. We explored the local area and the Kura Hulanda museum but beyond this we would have needed to go further out to find some more activities. Cabin: We had an inside cabin which we found to be excellent value, we spent so much time out of our room we didn’t feel the need to book a balcony. The queen bed was great and very comfy plus we had numerous storage spaces and an adequate size bathroom. Our housekeeper cleaned at least twice a day, we could not fault how clean the cabin was. Overall we had a fantastic trip, we really did not want to come home! We want to travel with P&O again and cant wait for our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was a great cruise and all inclusive too. Gave our bags over at Gatwick and never saw them until they were in our cabin onboard. Same on the return. Food,crew,entertainment and the housekeeping magnificent. The Broadway revues were ... Read More
This was a great cruise and all inclusive too. Gave our bags over at Gatwick and never saw them until they were in our cabin onboard. Same on the return. Food,crew,entertainment and the housekeeping magnificent. The Broadway revues were one of the highlights of the cruise. The enthusiasm and ability of the group were superb. We would often go to the lounge on the 9 level after the show to listen to the quieter music. But oh the adds ons!!! £90 for 2 weeks wi-fi( connection not guaranteed) £25 for the room safe. £50 for premier drinks package. £1 for a can of Coke. £1 for a bottle of water Very poor exchange rates on the dollar and euro(.97 euro and 1.06 dollar) Don’t exchange back. £19 for tour to the bridge. £50 for tour of bridge, engine room and galley. Take your own currency with you or credit card. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Thankfully near the End of this cruise. If you only speak English this is not the cruise line for you. Flights sat me and my partner in different rows. On Board food has been the most bland we have had on any cruise. Most of the time cold. ... Read More
Thankfully near the End of this cruise. If you only speak English this is not the cruise line for you. Flights sat me and my partner in different rows. On Board food has been the most bland we have had on any cruise. Most of the time cold. I have being with 5 different cruise lines. Sports bar no English sports. Tv in cabin no English channel. Done a tour ticked the English box whole tour in French. Booked a deluxe drinks package they keep running out of the drinks we ask for. We have booked October cruise to Durban thinking of cancelling it after talking to a staff member as said it maybe worst then this one because it has a lot of sea days so can not get off for decent FOOD. HAVE met people on this cruise who after the first 2 days have ate all their meals off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We wanted to go home shortly after boarding the ship. The only good thing I can take from this cruise is that the majority of the staff are very helpful and pleasant as one has come to expect from Thomson/Marella cruises. Although in ... Read More
We wanted to go home shortly after boarding the ship. The only good thing I can take from this cruise is that the majority of the staff are very helpful and pleasant as one has come to expect from Thomson/Marella cruises. Although in the minority, there were enough loud, drunk and foul mouthed party goers to ruin anyone's cruise. They made one hell of a noise in the early hours of the morning in the corridors. Drunk couples fighting and swearing at each other, loud drunks up at the bars, Broadway show lounge and out on the decks. Compared to other cruises there were just too many incidents for this to be a one off. It appears that this itinerary and low cost cruise has the ability to attract the above mentioned people unlike other cruises I have been on. The walls separating the cabins are paper thin. We were inside cabin so got constant noise (snoring, coughing, couples having sex, flatulence, opening and closing of drawers etc) coming through the walls on all four sides including the corridor. The cabin doors have a gap and let in all the noise and light from the corridors. The onboard entertainment was in my opinion well below average and musicians repeated the same songs night after night. The food in Lido's and the Meridian was below average and the vegetables always overcooked. The wok in Lido's was terrible and the person operating that should take a few lessons from the guy who does it on the Dream. The lobster down in the Meridian on the first Captains night was tough and overcooked. In the Meridian the catch of the day was so soggy and tasteless and the same applies to the bacon and hashbrowns in Lido's. Having said this, one could be selective at the buffet in Lido's and come away with a few appetising portions of food. This was the first cruise I have ever done where I came home lighter than when I left. In summary, on days at sea there are some loud drunk people at places on the decks so one has to be selective where one goes. On days when the ship docks, which is most days, one stands in the breakfast queue with others who cough all over you and also the food in the vicinity, then one eats a below average breakfast then goes out for the day. When one returns then one goes to the cabin to wash up along with all your neighbours and you get a chance to hear them using the toilet, showering, having sex, burping, flatulence, listening to music etc. Then one heads out for an overcooked meal but is selective and walks away with a few appetising items on the plate as if one is on diet. After this one heads to Broadway show lounge, only to walk out halfway during a lacklustre performance or because some really drunk person is spilling their drink on you or others in the vicinity, yet continues to be served alcohol. So then, not wanting to go down too early one heads to one of the bars to hear the same musician/s singing the same songs they sang the night before. Then one cannot help but notice the loud drunk people and the continuous flow of well behaved people sitting down in the vicinity of the loud drunks then getting up and leaving without even finishing their drinks. After a beer one decides enough is enough and heads off to the cabin early only to be kept awake most of the night by your snoring, coughing, neighbour and of course the foul and loud mouthed drunks socialising in the corridors outside your cabin when returning to their cabins in the early morning hours. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Seabourn is our cruise line of choice. The reasons are simple, it feels like you are on your personal yacht, the staff never uses the phrase "sorry, we can't do that", the cuisine is the best afloat on any ship sailing today ... Read More
Seabourn is our cruise line of choice. The reasons are simple, it feels like you are on your personal yacht, the staff never uses the phrase "sorry, we can't do that", the cuisine is the best afloat on any ship sailing today and last, but not least, you never feel crowded or rushed in any venue aboard. The odyssey is currently doing an itinerary that runs back and forth between Barbados and St. Maartin. The cruise was, as anticipated, wonderful and relaxing. HOWEVER, Getting to the ship to board and disembarking were rife with difficulty and unpleasantness. This was not just my bad luck, but prevalent among nearly all of the guests who we met aboard and shared stories with. After booking the cruise we discovered that you cannot get to/from these chosen ports before or after your cruise (Barbados and St. Maartin) in one day of travel. Unless you live in a city with a direct flight to the island (Miami, Washington DC, New York - basically the east coast major metros) you will have to overnight enroute in each direction. Airline costs to and from these ports and overnight hotel costs, in many cases, exceed the price of the actual cruise. Additionally, attempting to arrive or depart the same day as ships in port turn over their passengers will result in unmanageable crowds at the airports. (specifics about our experience below) St Maartin's airport was destroyed during the most recent Hurricane and despite what you may read about the Caribbean being ready for tourism and that everything is back to normal ... It is NOT. Let me recount our disembarkation experience in St. Maartin: The positive: our late afternoon airline departure time worried us. We were unable to arrange a "day pass" with any hotel on the island despite two weeks of trying prior to leaving home. With nowhere to go until our flight departure and Disembarkation from Seabourn Odyssey scheduled for 8:30 am, we were worried. Seabourn, graciously, permitted us to remain aboard the ship in comfort until after lunch. A real blessing considering what was to come. The negative: Upon disembarkation we took a taxi with our luggage to the airport thinking we could relax comfortably at the airport (a relatively short distance, but a long drive compounded by bumper to bumper, slow moving traffic - nearly an hour) our taxi driver described to us while enroute that after the hurricane so many cars were destroyed that there was a huge influx of new cars purchased with insurance money and that the old damaged cars were mostly repaired, sold and put back on the road... hence gridlock like Manhatten or Chicago during rush hour (but on single lane roads). He also informed us that we were LUCKY because up until just a few days prior, the airport operations and passenger terminal were being run from TENTS in the tropical heat. We arrived at the airport, part of the destroyed terminal building had been repaired and it was operating in compressed space. No assistance at the curb with bags, entered into the ticket area and found grand central station with hundreds of people in line for multiple carriers. We were flying first class so our shorter line took only 40 minutes to reach the front, check baggage and proceed. Next came the security and immigration line. We arrived and joined a single line in a large ante-chamber, with the line snaking back and forth to allow more passengers into it - no bypass for any sort of travel class division or TSA Pre-check thing available here. Another 45 minutes to proceed through this portion. As I approached the two clerks doing the pass along I thought it was the light at the end of the tunnel. We walked up a ramp to another level and there was another snake line with a few hundred people in it for baggage examination, x rays etc. Belts, shoes, computers everything off. One hour in THAT line and we thought "hooray, it's over" we were finally near the actual departure area. We walked about 20 yards around a turn and into a large space that was rectangular and about fifty yards wide and 25 yards deep roughly half the size of a football field. In a glass wall facing the fresh air and sunlight were several doors (no individual gate areas just some doors with a thousand or so plastic chairs arranged around the room). Every chair was occupied, little room between the rows, wheelchairs and luggage blocking everything and crowds of standing passengers waiting along every wall and every lane between chairs. these gates/doors were within feet of each other and each door was a "gate" with a number on it. This waiting area facing the gates would have been shut down by any decent fire marshall due to more than double the number of waiting passengers in that space than it was designed to accommodate. We snagged two chairs when a flight was called, and waited until our flight was ready. The boarding was called traditionally, by row number and class. We walked through the door and an airport employee gathered everyone into one disorganized group (defeating the prior procedure) and we waited in the sun for a people mover bus to arrive. When it did arrive, the bus was packed like a subway car at rush hour. If someone had died, they would have remained in a standing position. Our flight, United Airlines Flt # 1741 from St. Maartin direct to Washington DC is a daily scheduled turn around flight - fly in arriving mid day or a little later early afternoon, dump off the arrivals - load up and turn back around. The bus disgorged us and directed us to stairs leading up to the airplane door for us to struggle up carrying our hand baggage. Again no assistance for those needing it (the passengers assisted the elderly and disabled ourselves). Once aboard, we anticipated United Airlines would be a welcome change. The flight, while professionally flown, was improperly provisioned and there were inadequate meals and drinks for all passengers - Here's a bit of humor, the first class stewardess told us not to worry, delicious cookies were forthcoming. She then either burned all of the cookies or the oven failed - so half of the first class section who had no meal choices didn't even get a cookie on this 5 hour flight. But the pretzels were delicious. Arrived back into the USA and my Hartmann bag (advertised as nearly indestructible and a veteran of several international flights to Europe and Asia) was delivered for customs inspection with a wheel smashed off and rips in the side of the "indestructible" material. No doubt the same airport services staff in St. Maartin responsible for provisioning the airplane with food and drinks “loaded” the luggage, as well. My destroyed bag necessitated a LONG walk, easily a mile from the international arrivals area, through a nearly deserted late Saturday night Washington DC terminal to the United baggage claim office (would have been convenient if it was located near where their flights were arriving - alongside all of the OTHER airlines baggage offices). We made it to the hotel two hours later than anticipated, we were not allowed to check our heavy vacation packed bags through to our early morning departure flight, so we had to carry them with us to the hotel and bring them back for check in the next morning. 4 hours of sleep and back to the airport before dawn in Freezing weather, to board our final United Flight home (which was a delightful, problem free flight). IN retrospect, Seabourn's decision to necessitate boarding and disembarking at these 3rd world ports and airports is a decision that significantly diminishes the attractiveness and affordability of these itineraries. Seabourn has chosen to no longer originate or end their Caribbean and Transatlantic to Europe itineraries in US ports like Fort Lauderdale or Miami but choosing instead these awkward Caribbean ports. True, The St Maartin airport terminal was better than TENTS, however it is painfully obvious that the services that the St. Maartin Airport staff are expected to perform for this volume of passengers is significantly beyond their current capability to deliver. Hindsight is 20/20…If I had it to do over again, I would not have chosen this voyage simply because of the disastrous and unpleasant overall travel experience to and from the ship. I recently read a psychological study that evidenced that as Passengers/Customers, our remembrance of a vacation is formed in significant measure by what happens at the end of it. If things end with a pleasant experience - we will always remember that as one of our best vacations. If not... then it will be remembered as unremarkable or a disaster, as in our case. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Not a moan but flight (tui) delayed at Manchester. Arrived Barbados almost on time and was transferred to the ship bypassing the airport, (great) arrived quayside as the computer system crashed but was kept up to date with progress and ... Read More
Not a moan but flight (tui) delayed at Manchester. Arrived Barbados almost on time and was transferred to the ship bypassing the airport, (great) arrived quayside as the computer system crashed but was kept up to date with progress and water given out and we were looked after, we were then booked in manually and boarded. First impression of the ship was very smart, the cabin was an outside with sea view, was small but big enough to sleep in and get changed. Our opinion is we will not be in there all day, it's only for changing and sleeping, Freddy the cabin boy was brilliant and looked after the room to a high standard, 3 times a day with turn down service. The entertainment team were fab Jo B, Liam, Caroline, Riccy, Ali, DJ Phil Wes and Giovanni were fabulous, kept us entertained. Sea days were a bit packed with sun loungers at a premium, we had to sit on chairs a couple of times, but understandable. The waiter service for drinks was fine though short wait on sea days again understandable with the capacity, yes the decks were chokka at times. The restaurants were very well laid out with the option to share with other guests which was great to meet other people and learn from their past experiences. Food was (as in previous reviews) repetitive but very nice, (i only had the same meal once) the waiters were very obliging and helpful, nothing seemed to much trouble for them. Breakfast in the self service on deck 15 was sometimes a struggle to find a table but most people shared anyway. I had one gripe which was the toast. Was cooked ok but the bread crust was solid i did mention it and was told to ask for fresh as they have someone doing the toast all the time. Drink prices were a bit more than pub price but not extremely over priced, the bar staff were a pleasure to deal with and entertainment of an evening was very good though could have been at times on the bigger theatre as Manhattan bar wasn't big enough for the better artists. In our opinion the overall state of the ship was not as bad as people say. We were very impressed with the ship, the crew, entertainment and food. The itinerary was great with the weather being fabulous with only one Caribbean shower in two weeks. If you want to go ashore just check the Horizon information to see if you need your passport or not and it gives most information you need. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
the ship was lovely ,the crew were friendly ,couldn't do enough for yuri ,the food was hot and always plenty of it, we stayed in cabin 901 deck one which at first i thought we was in the lowest grade but after talking to people on ... Read More
the ship was lovely ,the crew were friendly ,couldn't do enough for yuri ,the food was hot and always plenty of it, we stayed in cabin 901 deck one which at first i thought we was in the lowest grade but after talking to people on upper decks e,g deck 5 upwards we probably had the better cabins ,there was not a lot of noise at all ,you could hear the engines but not enough to disturb your sleep ,yuri the cabin attendant was so nice and nothing was to much trouble for him as soon as you left your room he was in there cleaning it up ,felt very looked after ,chocolates left on the pillows every night .the local people were lovely too,if you get off in the port they will offer tpp take you on the excursions at sometimes half the price ,we did a mixture of tui excursions and using the locals. highly recommend the st lucia all day land and sea excursion .entertainment was good for a smaller ship ,everyone who we spoke to who was experienced cruisers also said they much prefer the marella celebration it was a more friendlier ship ,yes some things need modernising but on the whole our cruise was so good we are going to book again for next year , Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise (Royal Clipper to The Grenadines) to "get away from it all" and celebrate my 60th birthday, after having had a pretty awful year last year. We're not "cruising people", but I love being on ... Read More
I chose this cruise (Royal Clipper to The Grenadines) to "get away from it all" and celebrate my 60th birthday, after having had a pretty awful year last year. We're not "cruising people", but I love being on ships/boats, (not floating skyscrapers) and exploring places. I liked the fact that the entertainment was simple, the food was adequate (not excessive or wasteful) and that the on-board activities were minimal. There was a library, plenty of sailing activity to watch, and wonderful scenery. This was therefore the perfect cruise for me. A geographer's cruise. The balance of large/small ports and beach/swimming stops was excellent, giving plenty of variety. The relatively small size of the ship, and ability to go ashore easily by tender meant that we could explore some charming and hidden away places - spending my birthday on Petit Bateau in the Tobago Cays was like being in a dream, and being invited by the Captain to take the wheel (under close supervision!) was the icing on the cake. I would definitely like to go on another Star Clippers cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our third cruise with Thomson/Marella to the Caribbean and our second on Celebration. It started off really well in Manchester Airport waving goodbye to our cases and knowing that we would see them next outside our cabin door! ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Thomson/Marella to the Caribbean and our second on Celebration. It started off really well in Manchester Airport waving goodbye to our cases and knowing that we would see them next outside our cabin door! Arrival in Barbados and we were whisked straight from the plane to the ship and through the painless embarkation process. Now our holiday could begin. The first thing that hits you as you board is the friendliness of staff on board and their willingness to help if you need any pointers! We saw a few familiar face from our previous cruises. The ship has recently had a little bit of an update and you could see this in some of the publc areas and bars. Our cabin was well tended throughout by our lovely cabin steward Gusti who made sure we had everything we needed and also provided us with many towel animals ! Loads of storage and wardrobe space. Bar staff were really friendly and by the end of our cruise greeted us like old friends-especially in Horizons bar. We tended to eat our breakfast and lunch/afternoon tea in Lido buffet. Lots of choice for everyone and always easy to find a table. Evening meals were also great and we ate in the main waiter service dining room Meridians. Again really friendly and attentive staff. We always managed to have a table for two with no problems. Entertainment was ok - daytime quizes etc The evening shows were good and varied but for us the trio in Horizons were the best (can't for the life of me remember their name !). The main band could have been a LOT better though. Best entertainment was Captain Nikos though! Great afternoon call out each day and very entertaining with it ! We had some great ports of call - some of them smaller ones - and that's one of the reasons we return to Marella. The Caribbean is easy to do excursions by yourself but you do need to do some research beforehand. Ship excursions were varied and although we went on a couple found some of them to be extremely pricey!! Our top port of call was Virgin Gorda. Well Done Celebration !! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My husband and I chose this cruise as we'd been to the Caribbean before and wanted to do different islands and this cruise fitted the bill. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 mid ship which was very good, only downfall was that it had ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as we'd been to the Caribbean before and wanted to do different islands and this cruise fitted the bill. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 mid ship which was very good, only downfall was that it had 2 fold down beds above where we slept which restricted our move ability when getting in/out of bed. The cabin was ample size for 2 people, there was a dressing table/stool which was a good size with drawers on both sides, a double wardrobe with plenty coat hangers, shelves and drawers. Bathroom was fitted out well with a shower which had a glass door also shower gel dispenser on wall, toilet and fitted units throughout. Air con control on wall. TV with various channels along with cruise ship info. Our steward was very attentive and cleaned our cabin twice a day with towel change twice a day if needed. We had 2 pool towels which could be changed at any time. The easiest boarding we've had on a cruise (& we've been on a few!) when our plane landed at Barbados we got off the plane and straight onto a bus on the tarmac which took us to the port for embarkation which was quick and easy. On our last day we booked a courtesy cabin to shower and freshen up before our flight home. You are allowed to use all the facilities on board including the AI right up until your bus comes to take you to the airport, which is great which means you can stay on the ship or go ashore & back on board if you want. Other cruise companies we've sailed with don't let you do this, it's off at 8am unless you've booked a tour to fill in your day till you go to the airport!! On board facilities include AI ( you can upgrade to Premium AI but personally I don't think it's worth it, unless you like posh coffees ) even champagne is extra on the P. AI. Food is plentiful with the Market Place Cafe - buffett restuarant which is lovely, you have other serviced restuarants to choose from : Vista, The Mediterranian,,Tapas, The Snack shack also Latitude 53. There's other restuarants that you can pay a cover charge for but we didn't use these as found eating places ample for what we needed. You'll never go hungry as it's breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea then evening meal. I didn't use the spa so can't comment. 2 pools with 3 hot tubs, busy around pool for sunbathing but there's lots of other places to sunbathe which are quieter. Indoorr and outdoor cinema. Theatre on board lovely and plenty of seats, although the entertainment wasn't the best we'd seen but this didn't spoil our cruise as there's so much going on you can choose where you can go. Christmas Eve on board was great, from drinks in the bar, a silent disco (good fun) to Carols on the stairs, there wasn't a shortage of things to do. It was buzzing with excitement from young and older alike. We didn't do any shore excursions with the ship but did have a couple of trips on local buses/taxis Cost $20 pp in a bus 2 hours takes you on an island tour Tortola, also $25 pp in a mini bus taxi in Antigua (3 couples) driver gave an island tour to Nelson's Dockyard, beach & other attractions, well worth it took around 3 hours, plenty of time to get back to ship . We also walked to places as most amenities are quite close by. All staff on board very helpful couldn't do enough for you and nothing was too much trouble. Captain John was great (told some corny jokes but still made me laugh) kept you informed of what was going on with passages/weather etc. Cruise director very good as well. Would like to go on one of the Discovery ships as heard good reviews about them from friends. Looking to book another Marella Cruise for next Christmas/New year. A very enjoyable holiday from boarding our Dreamliner flight in Manchester, to boarding our lovely cruise ship Marella Explorer, to coming home a week later...Plain sailing! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Overall we had a lovely cruise on Britannia. We flew from Gatwick during the drone crisis. We got there on time (we were very lucky!) but others were less fortunate! P&O handled the whole crisis amazingly well. Some passengers could ... Read More
Overall we had a lovely cruise on Britannia. We flew from Gatwick during the drone crisis. We got there on time (we were very lucky!) but others were less fortunate! P&O handled the whole crisis amazingly well. Some passengers could not fly home and were given other cabins or transferred to local Hotels, some were late joining the ship, some were diverted to other flights. It must have been chaotic behind the scenes, but it was seemingly all coped with with minimum fuss. Well done P&O! The ship is lovely, our food was first class, entertainment was good, our cabin was fine and staff all very friendly. On the negative side, there are too many passengers, fine if you want to holiday with 3500 others! The Lido deck was our vision of hell, with sun beds packed in (and mostly reserved too) and loud pop music pumping out all day. There are quieter decks for relaxing but not one sun shade and very little other shade so prepare to sizzle! We were second sitting dinner, our choice, but if you choose this forget about getting a seat in any of the show lounges for late shows or dancing! P&O seem to be copying Ryanair as they were constantly after us to spend more on ‘extras’. Drinks packages, ice cream packages, afternoon tea packages, sunset gathering with the Captain packages – the list goes on. And all at £25 a head. The drinks are eye wateringly expensive too. So, keep the headline price low and make money from the ‘extras’. In consequence, the passenger profile is changing. No more comment on this! Cruising is spoiling the Caribbean, with more and more Duty Free shops and Diamonds International outlets. At Phillipsburgh, St. Maarten there were seven other cruise ships docked, a total of some 24000 passengers hitting the port at once. Looked like Wembley Way on cup final day! This was cruise 34 for me. I love cruising but will not rush back to Britannia. Iona will be bigger still. Hell! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our Ruby anniversary, and wife's 75th birthday. Upgraded seating on plane, luggage allowance, and to a extra large balcony cabin. Start with the cabin. You can't control the air con. It is either ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our Ruby anniversary, and wife's 75th birthday. Upgraded seating on plane, luggage allowance, and to a extra large balcony cabin. Start with the cabin. You can't control the air con. It is either hot or cold. everyone had dry cough's, and colds. The bathing area is at least 8 inches higher than the cabin floor. This is awkward, and dangerous at our age. The toilet is a joke, you sit on the toilet with your left arm on a sink, and your right arm on a toilet roll holder. The cold water is warm, and the shower door only get by at a squeeze. The wardrobe doors are directly outside the bathroom door. So be careful. The gap at the bottom of the bed is about 18 inches wide. With a tv sticking out. Watch your shoulders. The bed is metal framed, and the mattress was in need of being replaced. Not packed up with blanket, and mattress protectors. The food choice in the market place was repetitive, poor quality, and cold. The entertainment was abysmal. In the Squid & Anchor you had a quiz, followed by virtual reality entertainment. In other words a projector screen with musicians on. This was repeated on deck 11. The lounge had a piano with a couple of singers. Heard better in the local. The broadway had such as an illusionist. Who just did card tricks. And what shows they did, where performed by the entertainments team. They put enough ice in the drinks to sink the titanic, and it took you half an hour to get served. You had to pay in the coffee shop, and if you went before 10-00 it was double the price. You could only smoke in 3 places on the ship, outside the squid and anchor at back of ship on deck 7, Outside the coffee port on deck 6, if it was open. And on deck 12 between 10-00 and 03-00. Weather permitting. So you have to leave your partner, if they don't smoke. Whilst you went up and down the ship. There are different levels to gain access to certain venues. This is because the middle of the ship is not open. It gets confusing, and tiring. The lifts sometimes close their doors on you. I have bruises to prove it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I had never "done a cruise" and were tempted by a last minute deal. The flight out of Gatwick with TUI was really well done and the 'plane was superb. Too much up selling of duty free stuff but, hey ho, ... Read More
My wife and I had never "done a cruise" and were tempted by a last minute deal. The flight out of Gatwick with TUI was really well done and the 'plane was superb. Too much up selling of duty free stuff but, hey ho, that's life. The embarkation process was seamless with some very courteous mini coach drivers. Really fast check in onto the ship. Our luggage hadn't arrived when we went to our cabin but that is to be expected so we spent a fascinating few hours exploring the ship. We had an hour sunbathing and returned to the cabin where our luggage said hello to us. We chose an inside cabin as we didn't want to be in the cabin too much. The cabin was superb with plenty of space and was really, really clean. (Tip: to free up more space pop your shoes under the bed) Freddy our steward was perfection itself and he always greeted us with a smile. Getting set up for WI FI was a bit of a ceremony but we didn't let that annoy us. We cancelled the automatic tip system and tipped our favourite staff nicely and in person. The Horizon restaurant was absolutely superb with great selections and lovely views. We had top quality service from the beginning with Ronald being a stellar waiter/busboy. I was pretty much addicted to the Indian vegetable curry which was made on board and to be honest far better than most Indian restaurants I've been to in the UK and I've been to a few hundred. Everything was slick and immaculate clean. We did try the Peninsular but things were a bit slow so we didn't go back and stayed loyal to the Horizon. The shows in the Theatre were superb. High, high quality. Horizon 3, Peter Howarth and the Bluejays were all absolutely splendid and having been in the entertainment world for decades I am quite picky. The pantomime by the entertainment crew was really not too good so we left. Lots stayed and enjoyed it though. We liked the reggae/calypso band on the main deck. Around the pool was very busy and noisy so we found a few quiet spots around the ship to bask in the sun. Gorgeous. There was always good product and service around the pool areas and wait staff wandering around ready to take an order We loved staying on board the ship when most people went on a tour as we were so very relaxed and happy basking in the sun. We had a wonderful time for the whole cruise and can't really fault it. Yes things aren't always to everyone's liking but that is life. We thought it was all pretty much perfect and we are very fussy. I note people complaining about the elevators and that's fair enough but when a lot of people use the elevator for one or two floors it's easy to see why it all gets clogged. We did the stairs as much as possible. We were on board when the Gatwick drone problem was going on and I have to say P & O and TUI managed everything so well it was very impressive. Superb emergency management. Thank you P and O Cruises and TUI - We will be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018

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